USED & White House
ED Updates Draft Title I Equitable Services Guidance
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The U.S. Department of Education (ED) sent States a new updated draft on guidance for providing equitable services to students and teachers in private schools under Title I, Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.  The updates to this guidance focus on the use of “representative sampling” to determine the population of eligible students for the purpose of allocating funding to private schools.

The new document updates several questions to outline what constitutes acceptable sampling for purposes of determining the proportionate share.  It says that a district “should consider the degree to which respondents are similar to non-respondents, such as by using neighborhood or Title I public school attendance area characteristics.”

If a sample is determined not to be representative, the reasons should be shared with private schools as part of consultation.  Because the data source to be used to determine the proportionate share for children in private school should be part of the initial consultation conducted by the district, the instruction to share changes in the district’s decision if the sample is not representative could prolong the consultation process and require additional contacts by the district.  The updates to the guidance also emphasize that while a district must consider available sources of data if presented by a private school, the district will make the final decision about the measure of poverty that is used to determine the proportionate share.

Further, ED says that sample data may still be used if it is not a representative sample for the overall number of children but should be used in combination with another data source which provides information on other students.  In this case, data collected from a survey could be used in combination with data from other sources outlined in the guidance, including free and reduced-price school meal data or E-Rate data.

ED’s guidance does not provide a suggested share of students whose data the district can take as a representative sample, but in its examples, it allows data for 300 out of 400 students to be used to extrapolate while in another example, where a survey covers 25 out of 100 students, the district may determine that the information provided is not representative of the population as a whole.

The updated draft, which is open for public comment until December 8th, is available here.

About the Author

Julia Martin is an attorney with the Washington, DC law firm of Brustein & Manasevit, PLLC. Established in 1980, the Firm is nationally recognized for its federal education regulatory and legislative practice, providing legal advice regarding compliance with all major federal education programs as well as the federal grants management requirements, including the Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR). In addition, they work with agencies on federal spending flexibility, allowability, policies and procedures, audit defense and resolution and legislative updates. The Firm provides government relations services for the National Association of ESEA State Program Administrators (NAESPA).